Tuesday, January 17, 2012


When I was in kindergarten, our class was a half day program.  A five year old was either in "morning kindergarten" or "afternoon kindergarten."  We sat in short chairs at tiny tables and did puzzles, played with play dough and cut and pasted pictures of things that started with whatever the letter we were studying that week.  When it was time to put our toys away, we heard 3 familiar notes played on the piano and our teacher, Mrs. Walton, sang "Please clean up!"  We sat on the floor "Indian style" and sang songs about popcorn popping on the apricot tree, April Fool's day and my personal favorite "I Told the Witch Doctor I was in Love with You!"  We had the coolest teacher in the world!  She was magic!  She could tell what color a crayon was when you gave it to her behind her back, she had a ring that changed to a different color every day and she knew how to make lollipops grow on a tree!  I have so many memories of kindergarten, even now. . .30 years later because she made it memorable.

I went to kindergarten twice.  I was a very smart child so my parents had me tested for kindergarten when I was 4.  That's me. . . second row up from the bottom, all the way over to the left.  The one in the ponytails.  I was little.  I was the youngest in the class.  I did well that year and went on to the first grade but I cried a lot and still needed a nap.

 At 5, I went to first grade in the morning and then back to kindergarten in the afternoon.  In this one, I'm in the back row.  Second kid from the left.  I was older, taller and actually belonged in kindergarten at this point.  I got 2 wonderful years with Mrs. Walton.  I thought I hit the jackpot!  We all loved that lady!  I assume that she's probably gone now to wherever all the best teachers go.  I hope she knows how special she was to all of us and how much we loved her. 

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten

by Robert Fulghum
Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.

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